RETURNING TO WORK AFTER A LONG-TERM ABSENCE


It’s never easy getting back to work after some time off – the Sunday night dread of needing to get up early on Monday, busy public transport and long lines of traffic, it’s likely that everyone has experienced this feeling to some degree when returning to work after time off – the longer you have been out of work, the harder it is to return. No matter what the reason of your absence; COVID or other sickness, Lockdown, Holidays, Maternity/Paternity leave, getting back into the rhythm of working full time or part time can be extremely challenging so here are some ways that may help your transition back to working life as smooth and easy as possible.


Are you hyper focusing on what you don’t want to do? It might help you to make a list all of the things you are excited to do when returning to work – instead of thinking “I’m dreading how many emails I will have”, or “The train is going to be really busy”, flip your perspective to, “I get to go my favourite café for lunch” or “I have a really good book to pass time during my commute”. Convincing yourself that you can’t wait to sift through hundreds of emails is probably not the best way to get excited for work – unless of course you have a deep passion for responding to emails and organising your inbox – but shifting your focus to the things that you are genuinely looking forward to and excited for, then it’s likely that any dread you may have will not feel quite as daunting as it did beforehand.


This being said – you must also always remind yourself that what you are feeling is completely valid, it’s okay to feel nervous about getting back into work – developing a more positive perspective does not mean that you should disregard how you are feeling, acknowledge your emotions but don’t fixate on them.


Perhaps you have a large gap in your employment history and are feeling anxious about having to compete with other applicants for the same job role – if this is the case then you must acknowledge that removing yourself from the competition altogether means that you are guaranteed to remain unemployed until you send an application. Remember that the worst case scenario in this situation is that you do not get a job offer, however, if you avoid applying for a job for the sole reason of you don’t think you will get offered a position – not getting an offer is 100% guaranteed. Even with a 1% chance of being offered a position is a much better chance than avoiding applying altogether, you must send applications to be offered any interviews or jobs.


If you have been out of employment for a significant amount of time it may be a good idea for you to research and refresh! Research the industry you are going to work in – even if you worked in the same industry previously – it’s possible that there may be some changes to the industry during your time away, researching the industry before returning to work will eliminate any surprise changes that could cause unnecessary challenges. It may also be beneficial to refresh your skills for your job as if you have been out of work from some time then you may be out of practice with your skills – refreshing your skills before returning to work will make first days back at work much less stressful.


Sometimes people lose routine when they are out of employment for a considerable amount of time – if you’re worried about getting back into a routine and have some time before returning to work then consider taking on some volunteer work, this way you can begin to form a routine so that when the time comes to get into the routine of work it will be a much smoother transition. Alternatively, you can speak to your employer about a phased return back into work and building back up to your normal working hours and work days.


One of the best ways to get back in touch with your career and its industry is networking. Networking allows you connect with many people who can all play a hand in developing and advancing your career in an array of differing methods – having a collection of contacts that you connect with in your work life can open many doors to many different opportunities that you may not have even considered. Whether you have just returned to work or are searching for an opportunity to get your foot through the door again, connecting with those who are active in the industry will allow you to progress your career.


No matter how long your absence from work life has been or whatever the reason, it is never too late to restore your career! If you feel that you need additional support or guidance, please reach out to contact us at astrid@asb-internship-solutions.com